Sunday, January 31, 2010


"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." (1 Cor. 13:6)

When we love we aren't happy when evil, injustice, unrighteousness is done. A loving heart is compassionate, honest, loyal, and true. Anything less is unacceptable. Anything less is unloving. Anything less is from the evil one.

Are you rejoicing with the truth, or delighting in evil?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Friday, January 29, 2010


 This guy likes cows...


So does this guy...
This guy likes to hang around with this kid named Schad...
So does this guy...

This guy likes to sing...
So does this guy...
So what's the big deal about these two guys?

Anthony Lancaster
Birthdate: January 29, 1988
Wes McKinzie
Birthdate: January 6, 1970
Happy Birthday, Boys!!!!

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Thursday, January 28, 2010


"You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!" (Matt. 5:43-44 NLT)
"When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. Do not give the devil a way to defeat you." (Eph. 4:26-27 NCV)
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:19-20 NIV)

"[Love] is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." (1 Cor. 13:5 NIV) 

Interesting how one's countenance changes when they're not easily angered or keeping record of wrongs.
Kinda looks like love to me. Don't you agree?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The homeless man.
The single mother.
The unwanted child in the orphanage.

The people who are in the most need are the ones we have been called to serve.  These are the ones Jesus told us about. These are the ones who need to see what love looks like.

For so long there has been an infestation of selfishness in our world that we have all but become completely oblivious to it.

It seems we have forgotten that love "is not self-seeking" (1 Cor. 13:5). It's kinda easy to forget when you have what you need. It's a little easier to forget when you have what you want. It's really easy to forget when you have what you need and what you want. It's hard to forget when you give of your means without hesitation.

Love is not selfish.

Are you looking more like love yet?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Sunday, January 24, 2010


{This was originally posted on June 4, 2009}

[Love] is not rude.

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

When defining what love is not, Paul put rudeness on the list. “It is not rude.” The Greek word for rude means shameful or disgraceful behavior.

An example of rudeness was recently taken before the courts in Minnesota . A man fell out of his canoe and lost his temper. Though the river was lined with vacationing families, he polluted the air with obscenities. Some of those families sued him. He said, “I have my rights.”

God calls us to a higher, more noble concern. Not “What are my rights?” but “What is loving?”

Do you have the right to dominate a conversation? Yes, but is it loving to do so?…Is it within your rights to bark at the clerk or snap at the kids? Yes. But is it loving to act this way?

From: A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2005)
Max Lucado
What is love looking like to you these days?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Saturday, January 23, 2010


When I look into a mirror, this is the face I ultimately want to see; the epitome of love in human form.

Do you see the face of love when you look into the mirror?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Friday, January 22, 2010


When we look at love in human form, what do we see?
So far, we've seen patience and kindness. But what do we not see?
Do we see envy, boasting, pride?

I can say with great certainty that I have never seen love saying, "I'm better than you!"
That's not the look of love. "It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." (1 Cor 13:4)
Love doesn't hate; it congratulates!

Is there something you should consider getting rid of that might help you look more like love?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Thursday, January 21, 2010


When you put clothes on love, what does it look like to you?

" is kind." (1 Cor 13:4)

Love makes you reach out to that total stranger who is in need and serve them in whatever way you can. Love shows respect and dignity  to those who may or may not deserve it. Love gives of its last resources without hesitation. Love shows "the kindness of a Savior."

What are you doing to look more like love?

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Love is a verb; it is an action. Over the next few posts, I want to flesh out this idea: love in human form. What does love look like? What do you see when you see love?

Does it look like patience?

"Love is patient..." (1 Cor. 13:4)  Love allows you to wait for the right moment, the right opportunity, the right person. Love helps you endure hardship and put up with stupidity.

Love is patient - "quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry." (James 1:19) Love knows the value of a listening ear. Love knows how to hold its tongue. Love knows how to keep from blowing its lid.

So, I'd say love looks a lot like patience.

What do you need to do to look more like love?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I love you, Baby! Just thought you should know that. :-)

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today we commemorated two men who changed the world in their own ways.
One changed music, one changed ministry.
One changed bodies, one changed hearts.
One changed the way we treat people with disabilities, one changed the way we treat people with different skin color.

Both changed lives.

Teddy Pendergrass passed away last week. His life as a musician was remarkable, to say the least. But it was his life-altering accident that showed what he was truly made of. After his brakes failed in his car, Pendergrass hit two trees, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. The injury caused him to start an organization designed to educate and encourage others who had spinal cord injuries. The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance still operates on all cylinders, just as does the memory of the R&B legend.

Theodore DeReese "Teddy" Pendergrass
March 26, 1950 - January 13, 2010

Of course, this country...this world would not be the same were it not for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His dedication to justice, even in the face of adversity, was such that caused the greatest awakening in America concerning the way we treat one another. Because of Dr. King, my older brothers were among the first black students to integrate the schools in our hometown of Borger, Texas. Because of Dr. King, I am able to be married to the most beautiful woman I know without fear of persecution. Because of Dr. King, we see people more like Jesus sees people. Thank you, Dr. King.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

What a great pair of lives to celebrate!

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Thursday, January 14, 2010


There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.

There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time - It's easy.

All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.

All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.


What else could you possibly need?

p.s. If you're not singing this song - if it's not totally stuck in your head by now - you are a much stronger person than I!

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The following 8 nuggets of wisdom come from chapter 8 of Dave Ramsey's book More Than Enough.

"Work is doing it. Discipline is doing it every day. Diligence is doing it well every day."
"Prayer is vital, but God is not in the business of rewarding the lazy."
"We feel better about ourselves when we are accomplishing things."
"I have heard it said that the reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work."
"Discipline understands that the best way to get rich quick is to get rich slow."
"A consistent excellence is a rare thing to observe, but so is wealth. Diligence is just that: It is consistent excellence."
"I have heard it said that adults decise a plan and follow it, while children do what feels good."
"You work, you get paid; you don't work, you don't get paid."

You're welcome.

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The Biggest Loser was great tonight! Watching the way the mothers on the show cared for their kids reminded me how much I miss my Mama (today would've been her 66th birthday), but also how proud I am of my Mom (that's my step-mother, JoNell), Steph's mom (Cathy), and Steph. Mom gave birth to twelve kids, Cathy to six, and so far, Steph has given birth to one. I know for a fact that all of these mothers would sacrifice everything they could so their children could succeed in all of life's challenges. That's why I love them! And that's exactly what Patti did tonight.

Patti and her daughter, Stephanie (what a great name!) came up for elimination after having lost only seven pounds between them. Week 2 always seems to be the toughest, as I understand it. When they faced the rest of the cast to plead their case as to who should stay on the ranch and who should go home, I saw an incredible display of a mother's love for her child. Without any hesitation, Patti declared that she had a good support system at home and could lose the weight she needed to, but Stephanie didn't have that. She said Stephanie needed to stay on the ranch in order to save her life. For the first time that I can remember, the vote was unanimous. The grey team actually said, "We wouldn't disrespect our Mama, so we won't disrespect Patti's wishes, either." Out of respect for Patti and the apparent kindness she exhibited to all of the contestants, she was able to sacrifice her chance at $250,000 so her daughter could have a chance to live.
Love at its finest.

If you are able, take a moment to let your mom know how much you love and respect her.

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Monday, January 11, 2010


What happens when you have nothing left? When you're standing at a dry well, hoping to find the smallest drop of something that might begin to quench your overwhelming thirst? When you find yourself grasping, unsuccessfully, for the smallest inkling of hope?

Maybe that's when we are supposed to realize we're standing at the wrong well. Instead of drinking from the Well that never runs dry, we go back to the same old dried up hole in the ground...wishing...

From which well are you finding refreshment?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Sunday, January 10, 2010


In the most non-biased way I can possibly say it, we have the sweetest little girl on the planet! Gabby is such a compassionate, caring, understanding, generous soul and Steph & I are madly in love with her.

Since Steph and I have been married, each night at bedtime, the three of us pray together and then tell Gab "good night." For the past few months, Gabby has been the one praying, which is awesome. I have noticed how her prayers have progressed and matured. The insight she displays sometimes catches me off guard. Just last night, she prayed this:
"Lord, thank you for reminding us how much we're blessed. Even though times are tough right now, we still have a lot more than most people in other countries. We have food to eat and a home to live in and cars to get around in. Help us to give to others out of what you have given us."
We are so blessed to have our Little Darlin' in our lives. Our daily prayer for her is that she continue to grow in God's wisdom and understanding and that she will see through God's eyes. I think she is already starting to do all of that.

I just had to brag on my Sweet Pea!

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate


Spending one day, just one day with Jesus, is better than spending thousands without him. Don't believe me? Then I dare you to try it. Simply allow the joy of Jesus to overwhelm you for just one day. You'll be eternally glad you did!

Are you ready to spend just one day with Jesus?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Saturday, January 09, 2010


One of, if not my very least favorite games is the "What If?" game. "What if you couldn't read or write?" "What if I had taken up a different trade?" "What if Colt McCoy hadn't gotten injured in the fifth play?" What if? Does it matter? It's not that way. Why add stress to an already stressful life?

Steph and I outlawed the "What If?" game a long time ago when we were dating. This is why:

The "What If?" game always, without fail, brings about three things this world can and should do without - doubt, fear, and worry.

When we doubt, we doubt God's promise to work in our lives. We doubt His power, grace, and authority. We doubt His love.

Our fear drives us to do things we never would have thought of otherwise. We lie, cheat, deceive. We beat up, tear down, destroy. We turn to ourselves and away from God.

Max Lucado describes our worry problem best in his book Traveling Light:

     No one has to remind you of the high cost of anxiety. (But I will anyway.) Worry divides the mind. The biblical word for worry (merimnao) is a compound of two Greek words, merizo ("to divide") and nous ("the mind"). Anxiety splits our energy between today's priorities and tomorrow's problems. Part of our mind is on the now; the rest is on the not yet. The result is half-minded living.

     That's not the only result. Worrying is not a disease, but it causes diseases. It has been connected to high blood pressure, heart trouble, blindness, migraine headaches, thyroid malfunctions, and a host of stomach disorders.

     Anxiety is an expensive habit. Of course, it might be worth the cost if it worked. But it doesn't. Our frets are futile. Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem, or cured a disease.
So, next time you decide to play the "What If?" game, take a moment to think of how you will feel afterward. It just might change your mind.

Your thoughts?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I could sit here and plead my case for UT if Colt hadn't gotten hurt and the rest of the team hadn't lost the great momentum they had built over the first couple of series, but it wouldn't change the fact that Bama took advantage of the Longhorns' misfortune and played a great football game. Although Texas put up a heck of a fight, they just couldn't catch a break. Had they not had that nasty penalty that got the first touchdown called back, the missed ball on the next touchdown pass, and the pointless pick 6 at the end of the first half, Texas could've had a great win. However, that wasn't the case, and nothing can change that. Even though there were some calls that weren't made that should have been, and the great McCoy had to watch the true freshman, Gilbert, who had a fantastic game, get thrown into the fire, I'm still proud of the Horns. They didn't give up. They didn't lay down. They fought as though there were no tomorrow. They gave their absolute best effort.

I'm also proud of Colt McCoy's interview at the end of the game - the way he gave all the glory to God and had the maturity to remember that God is still on the throne and that his life is completely surrendered to Him. That's why I love the kid so much. He knows where he came from and Who he belongs to! I can only hope and pray that more people in the spotlight will step up and give God the glory, even when they don't get their way. Way to go Colt. Way to go Longhorns.

I couldn't be prouder! 

Hook 'em!

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


No, I'm not writing about the book we had to read in high school. I'm talking about what we have on a daily basis. We expect great things out of life. We expect things to go our way, and our way is... well... great!

I've noticed this expectation thing in myself a lot lately. I expect for the drivers of the cars in front of me to go fast enough for me to not have to ride my brakes - at least the speed limit! I expect my students to understand what I'm trying to teach them in a timely manner. I expect myself to be able to pay the bills and take care of my family without any problems.

Unfortunately, that's not the way life works. Life is where we get behind the slowest drivers when we're running late. Life is when the teacher tries everything he or she knows but the students just don't get it. Life is where the end of the money comes way before the end of the month and panic sets in.

And how upset do we get when our expectations aren't met? When the shoes you wanted are no longer on sale? When your kid comes home drunk? When your life gets flipped upside-down? At the point where disappointment becomes the understatement of the century?

There is only one thing I know that will always meet our expectations and, in fact, go beyond: The love of God. He loves us so much more than we could ever imagine and His love never ends. Whenever we're going through it, God is going through it with us, loving us and wanting us to trust Him. I don't know if He expects us to trust Him, but I do know that that's His desire for us.

What are your expectations?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


The Biggest Loser is back in full force in another epic battle against obesity!

Before last season - Season 8 - I had never watched an episode. When we learned that our boy, Sean Algaier, was going to be on the show, we just had to watch; Sean's hilarious! We were hooked after the first five minutes, to be sure. By the end of the first episode we had started planning the rest of the semester around the show, making sure to keep our Tuesday nights sacred.

Call us crazy, but The Biggest Loser has sparked a whole new energy and enthusiasm about rebuilding these temples we call bodies. Steph has gotten brutally honest and super-serious about her weight-loss, and she welcomes the rest of the world to join her. I have even been motivated to take up running (did 2.3 miles on the "rolling hills" setting today) and get myself back in shape!

We don't want to get fit to impress anyone (other than each other). We want to get fit to please our Father who gave us these bodies in the first place.
Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
 1 Cor. 6:19-20 (The Message)

It is time for us to stand up, take charge, and become the people God designed us to be.

Who's with us?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Monday, January 04, 2010


Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2-4 (NLT)

How are you handling your troubles?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Sunday, January 03, 2010


2009 for me was... er, um... interesting, to say the least. I had some of the greatest life experiences ever, but I also had plenty of difficulties. I mean, I married the woman of my dreams, inherited the most adorable little girl in the world, graduated officially (finally), celebrated my dad's 90th birthday and his 68th year of preaching the gospel, and got to share that same gospel across the U.S., in Canada, and in Brasil! Can't say I'm not blessed!!

However, on our new adventure we experienced all kinds of speed bumps, potholes, road construction, concrete barriers, dead ends. From hurting people to hateful people, broken promises to broken dreams, deep need to deep depression, I found myself searching for...something.

It seems that over the last decade or so, my life-experience pattern has been better in even-numbered years than in odd-numbered. I know that sounds oddly superstitious, but I tend to notice patterns. That doesn't mean it won't be different this year. It could be completely on the opposite end of the spectrum; let's hope not.

So, how does one repair oneself after going through tough stuff? I like to think it all comes down to the "reset button."

Remember when you were a kid playing Super Mario Bros. and you just couldn't defeat the evil Koopa King in order to save Princess Peach? You did the most logical thing - the thing that all kids did - you "accidentally" hit the reset button. Your friends would get so mad because everybody had to start over because you were too selfish to concede to a bunch of losers! Well, now we have an opportunity to hit the reset button on purpose without the threat of wedgies, wet willies, or (my personal least favorite) being frogged in the leg! This is your, and my, chance to start over and live better. This is our chance to reset and refocus. There is absolutely nothing we can do to change history, so why not fix your eyes on the present and prepare for the future? Hopefully, these words will help:

Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
(Phil. 4:8 - NCV)

That's my reset verse. What's yours?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Like a herd o' turtles!

Okay, maybe not turtles. Maybe more like fledgling eagles learning to fly.

It's a new year and we have new opportunities to be the best whatever we are that we can be. Roo, Goo, and yours truly are zonked from the eleven-hour trip back to OKC, so we're headed to bed. However, we are bursting with anticipation of what God has in store for us. So, let's do this!

Are you ready?

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate

Friday, January 01, 2010


Happy New Year, everybody!

Today, I am doing something I have never done before. I'm celebrating my first wedding anniversary with my beautiful, radiant bride, Stephanie! This is how we looked a year ago (ain't we cute?!):

And this is us a year later, more in love than on our wedding day!

2009 was a great year! We learned so much about each other. We allowed ourselves to become completely vulnerable with each other. We loved each other through our faults...and by "we", I mean Steph, and by "our faults", I mean my faults! I kid, I kid. I am so grateful that she still puts up with me trying to learn how to be a husband and dad. And the best part, we are just getting started!

We have no idea what the future will bring, but we do know that, with God's help, we will keep loving, respecting, honoring, and serving each other just like we promised in our vows. I think this song says it best (If you can't understand the lyrics, you can check them out here).

I love you now, Roo-Baby!

Peace, Love, and Dark Chocolate